SUBSCRIBE

Inside food & drink manufacturing

Headlines > Business News

Read more breaking news

 

 

Unilever brews up acquisition of herbal tea firm

Post a comment
Matt Atherton

By Matt Atherton+

08-Sep-2017

Unilever bought Pukka Herbs for an undisclosed fee
Unilever bought Pukka Herbs for an undisclosed fee

Unilever has bought Bristol-based tea manufacturer Pukka Herbs for an undisclosed fee, in a bid to close a gap in its portfolio, the manufacturer revealed yesterday (September 7).

The organic herbal tea business was a clear fit for Unilever, because they shared a sustainable living philosophy around benefitting people, plants and the planet, claimed Unilever. Pukka Herbs was also the fastest growing organic tea company in the world, according to Euromonitor 2016, with turnover of more than £30M, and growth of over 30%.

Unilever refreshment category president Kevin Havelock said: “Pukka has strong values and a clear purpose that aligns fully with our own sustainable growth model. There’s a clear strategic, philosophical and cultural fit for us.

‘Gap in our portfolio’

“The acquisition strengthens our tea business, addressing a gap in our portfolio. Pukka is a premium player in the natural, organic, health and wellness segment, which is fast-growing, attractive and scalable. We look forward to bringing Pukka to even more consumers.”

The deal with Unilever would see Pukka gain new opportunities to reach more customers, the company’s founders Sebastian Pole and Tim Westwell said. The 16-year-old firm will continue to donate 1% of its total sales to environmental charities, it confirmed.

Pole, who is also Pukka master herbsmith, said: “Choosing Unilever came down to two fundamentals: scale and sustainability. It is a leader in social and environmental change and it wholeheartedly embraces Pukka’s beliefs.

“Pukka will remain 100% organic and a champion for fair trading through pioneering schemes like Fair for Life, and continue to donate 1% of its sales to global environmental charities. With Unilever, we have new levels of reach and opportunity.”

‘Huge progress’

Co-founder and ceo Westwell added: “From day one, our mission was to connect more people with the incredible power of plants and herbs. 16 years later, with 1.5bn Pukka teas enjoyed, we’ve made huge progress – and it’s just the beginning.”

The tea business is currently worth £1.47bn (€1.6bn), according to data from information specialist Nielsen.

Pukka makes 40 herbal tea products, including Mint Refresh, Ginsend Matcha Green and Night Time Tea. It almost makes a range of organic supplements, including Aloe Vera Juice, Castor Oil and Rosewater.

Meanwhile, Clipper Tea owner Wessanen has hired David Caré as its new international sales director.

Post a comment

Comment title *
Your comment *
Your name *
Your email *

We will not publish your email on the site

I agree to Terms and Conditions

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Related products

Related suppliers